Physician Practice Optimizes Patient Communication

Dec. 19, 2009

Plano, TX – December 18, 2009 – In a day and age where nearly the majority of the American population uses the Internet, North Dallas Pediatrics Associates (North Dallas Peds) in Plano, Texas is no exception.  During this H1N1 season, they used their interactive website to communicate with their patient base of about 20,000 to inform them of their H1N1 vaccine availability.  As a result, in less than one month they had over 700 patient appointments just for the vaccine.

Their interactive website, powered by Medfusion, the forerunner in patient-to-provider communication solutions and award-winning healthcare website designer, is completely controlled by the practice due to its content management capabilities. This empowers North Dallas Peds to provide their patients with the most current and accurate healthcare information without having to depend on a webmaster to make content changes.  In this case, North Dallas Peds posted their notice for the H1N1 vaccine offering on their website late in the afternoon, with a message that patients had to use the Patient Registration feature on their Medfusion patient portal to register and request an appointment for the vaccine.  Overnight they received nearly 200 patient appointment requests, and in the following weeks the appointment requests kept coming in droves.  This made it incredibly efficient for the practice and patient, because instead of patients having to call during office hours where they would have been put on hold or had to leave a message, patients were able to access the practice website at a time convenient for them to register and request an appointment.

Patient Registration isn’t the only Medfusion solution North Dallas Peds uses – they’ve optimized communicating with their patients by using other solutions like Secure Messaging, Online Bill Pay, and Prescription Refill. Excited about the portal functionality, Karen Plaster, Practice Administrator said, “We not only posted the announcement on our website, but we also sent a mass message to our patients through Secure Messaging.  We easily receive about 200 phone calls on a Monday morning within a 1.5 hour timeframe.  Having the patients register in the secure patient portal cut our incoming calls by 50 percent.  Using Medfusion’s Appointment Request solution enabled our Appointment Supervisor to schedule the appointment and respond to the patient request through the secure HIPAA-compliant portal. Having patients request their appointments online also enabled us to manage our flu clinics. I don’t know how we would have handled this kind of traffic without the patient portal.” 

North Dallas Peds has also had much success with the Online Bill Payment and Prescription Refill solutions. Since a large percentage of their prescription requests are for a highly controlled drug, North Dallas Peds requires all patients to register on their patient portal to request a prescription refill. Plaster commented, “This way everything about that prescription request is captured.  Sometimes parents have special requests – and now those requests are on file; whereas, with a phone conversation that information might not have been captured.  Plus, instead of us having to call them back to let them know the refill is ready for pick-up, they receive a notification through the portal.”